More Than “The Guy Who Prints My Stuff”

Quick! Define commercial printer. “What? You mean the guy who prints my stuff?” If that was your answer, maybe it’s time you took another look.

At one time, the printer was the guy with ink under his nails. He wasn’t the idea man. He was the guy who ran the press. He knew paper. He knew ink. He was the one who could take someone else’s idea and get it done. Somewhere along the line, that changed. Over time, print shops became more than just a place to output print.

At the Center of It All

Printers have always been at the center of marketing campaigns. They know how to manage color so it outputs best on press. They know what finishing techniques can be produced most cost-effectively for which designs. This is more than someone who puts ink on paper. It’s a consultative partner who can save you time, money, and hassle at the stages before and after the press.

Over the years, this consultative relationship has grown. Printers have improved the cost and quality of their clients’ marketing campaigns simply by offering their expertise.

Now, as part of their growing value proposition, printers have begun adding a wide range of services that transform their customers’ marketing capabilities. First, printers added binding and mailing services. Now they are offering software solutions, print-on-demand, online storefronts (Web-to-print), 1:1 marketing, cross-media, email services, personalized URLs/general URLs, survey services, database management, and much more.

Printers are no longer just printers. They have integrated into the customer’s business to become part of its marketing department or advertising agency.

So, quick—name three services your printer (whether it’s us or someone else) provides beyond merely putting ink on paper. Can you do it? If not, it’s time to look again.

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QR Codes: Making Your Print Interactive

QR Codes. You may have seen them in on direct mail pieces, in print ads, or on billboards. When you scan these 2D barcodes with your phone’s camera (you may need to download free software if it’s not pre-loaded), you are taken to a mobile landing page. You access a coupon. You see a video.

QR Codes serve as an immediate response mechanism for your print marketing. Your prospects don’t need to wait until they get home or back to the office to see the content. They can access it right away — right where they are.

QR Codes add interactivity to your print materials. Because they are simply 2D barcodes, they cost nothing to add to your layout. Using one of the many free QR Code generators out there, simply enter the URL to which you want people to be sent, hit “get code,” and insert the resulting .jpg or .png into the layout like any other image. Yes, it’s that easy.

Here are some places you can add QR Codes to spice up previously static print items:

  • Sell sheets. Send people to a YouTube video to see a demo of the product.
  • Business cards and letterhead. Customers and prospects can add your contact information automatically with a single snap of the code.
  • Trade show materials. Allow people to view your entire product line and pricing right from the trade show floor!
  • Window clings. Give passersby access to discount codes that encourage them to come in and buy.
  • Direct mail pieces. Make it easy for people to sign up for sweepstakes in exchange for answering a few survey questions to beef up your database.

The possibilities are endless. You can do great things with just a little creativity and brainpower. Talk to us about putting our QR creativity to work for you.